It strikes when you least expect it. That awful hacker screen that pops up suddenly and tells you to pay OR ELSE!
Estimates state that ransomware is a $1 billion business, and that 70 percent of businesses pay the computer pirates rather than risk losing value business data.
Dan Wilson, of Computer Peripherals Unlimited in Greenville, answers some basic questions about malware that business owners should read.
Q:If my computer is on a business network, how can it get infected? Doesn’t my network protect me?
Dan: Yes your computer can get infected on a business network. This can happen through email, compromised websites, or other networked computers. The network will only protect you if it has the appropriate security software and devices in place.
Q: I read about ransomware. What exactly is it?
Dan: Ransomware is basically a virus that makes your files inaccessible by encrypting them unless you pay a “ransom”. There is usually a file put on your computer with instructions on how to pay the ransom in hopes that the “bad guys” will un-encrypt your files.
Q: How would I know if my network is compromised?
Dan: In some cases you don’t. Slow Internet or computers can be a sign. A ransomware infection will give you a message when but it’s typically too late as the damage is done.
Q: Does anti-virus software really help?
Dan: Yes up to date anti-virus/security software can help identify and block threats.
Q:If my computer network is hacked, is there any cure for it?
Dan: No there is no cure. All you can do is put the proper hardware, software, user policies, and procedures in place to minimize the risk. A policy for dealing with breaches is also recommended. User education is really the biggest factor here (e.g. the IRS does not contact you via email).
Worried that your computer network has been compromised? Call Computer Peripherals Unlimited at 252-752-3458 or visit their website at www.cpu-store.com